How to gain unlimited Gmail addresses with this simple hack

2 months ago 16
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Jack Wallen shows you a neat little Gmail trick that makes it possible for you to not only gain unlimited Gmail addresses but more easily determine if something nefarious has been sent to you.

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Image: iStockPhoto

I'm going to preface this by saying I use the term "hack," in the more commonly used vernacular of the day, as in "life hack." We're not actually going to hack Gmail. But I do have a really great "hack" for you to use with your Gmail account, one that will get you unlimited Gmail addresses for you to use.

With that said, what am I talking about?

SEE: The future of work: Tools and strategies for the digital workplace (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

I use Gmail primarily for communicating with clients. It's my work email. However, certain situations are caught somewhere between work and personal, times which I'd rather not use my personal address.

What's there to do?

Fortunately, Gmail includes this fantastic feature that many don't know about, a feature that makes it possible for you to expand the number of actual Gmail addresses you can use.

Let me explain.

What you'll need

The only thing you'll need for this is a working Gmail address. That's it. You'll need no third-party tools or services, just your email.

How to gain more email addresses with Gmail

Let's use the example yourname@gmail.com for this example. That's your regular Gmail address. Let's say you want to sign up for TechRepublic newsletters, but don't want to use your real Gmail address. For that, you could sign up with something like:

yourname+techrepublic@gmail.com

The email you used to sign up for the newsletter will still come to the inbox for yourname@gmail.com, only it will be sent from the TechRepublic newsletter engine to yourname+techrepublic@gmail.com.

SEE: Electronic communication policy (TechRepublic Premium)

You're probably asking yourself, "Why don't I just give them my regular email address?" Ah, that's just it: There's a little bit of a safety feature built into this. Say you've signed up for that TechRepublic mailing list and one day you receive an email that is decidedly not from TechRepublic, but it came to the address, yourname+techrepublic@gmail.com. That email is clearly an attempted phishing attack, and you can easily avoid it. At the same time, you might also reach out to the sending service to let them know what's going on.

This is a very handy way to keep mailing lists and other such platforms in check. 

But this little hack isn't just useful for keeping mailing lists in check. For example, if you want to sign up for product registrations, you could use an email like:

yourname+productname@gmail.com

The important thing here is the + character. Just make sure that yourname is always first and whatever goes after the + is just gravy (gravy that Google will assume is associated with yourname). And don't think you have to stop at just one + character. You could use an address like:

yourname+techrepublic+linux@gmail.com

Any email sent to the above address will still go to yourname@gmail.com.

And that's all there is to this handy little Gmail hack that makes it possible for you to have unlimited email addresses. Give it a try and see if it doesn't make your busy Gmail life a bit easier (and a bit safer).

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